Melamine in Viet Nam: Tears Over Spilt Milk

VIET NAM - On Saturday, dairy cow breeders in the northern province of Vinh Phuc poured more than 7 tonnes of fresh milk on the road.
calendar icon 13 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

In Trung Nguyen Commune, Yen Lac District, 4.5 tonnes of cow milk was poured onto the road, whitening a road hundreds of meters long.

Tran Van Dung said that since early January 2009, his milk purchasing station has had to pour 15 tonnes of milk. Since the Health Ministry announced the melamine case, farmers in Trung Nguyen and Vinh Thinh communes in Vinh Phuc province have had to throw away 105 tonnes of fresh milk.

"We are now brazen. The last time we were afraid of our neighbors, so we poured fresh milk into a pond at night"
Vu Thi Dao, dairy farmer

In Vinh Thinh commune, Vu Thi Dao poured 2.4 tonnes of milk onto the road. Dao is the collector of fresh milk for 40 dairy cow breeding households in An Lao village.

“We are now brazen. The last time we were afraid of our neighbors, so we poured fresh milk into a pond at night,” Dao said. This time she poured milk into her yard. Her family recently sold their dairy cows to avoid heavy losses.

In An Lao village, 30 out of 200 dairy cows were slaughtered. A farmer named Tran Van Hai has just slaughtered four of his nine cows, earning VND 12 million ($700). In the golden age of the dairy cow, he would be able to sell a dairy cow for VND 30 million ($1,760).

The Deputy Director of the Vinh Phuc Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Trinh Dinh Mao, said the province has over 1,000 dairy cows. Nearly 500 cows are yielding fresh milk, averaging 7 tonnes per day.

There are two big collectors of fresh milk in Vinh Phuc, one in Vinh Thinh commune, Vinh Tuong district and one in Trung Nguyen commune, Yen Lac district, which are owned by Tran Van Dung.

However, Mao said that only households that sell fresh milk to Hanoimilk face difficulties. Farmers can still sell milk to the milk trader in Vinh Thinh Commune because this trader supplies fresh milk to the International Milk JS Company.

The local authorities have asked Yen Lac and Vinh Tuong districts to instruct dairy cow breeders to sell their milk to other companies.

Vinh Phuc officials will work with Hanomilk today to seek measures to save farmers. On Monday, Hanoimilk’s General Director Tran Dang Tuan confirmed the continual purchase of fresh milk from Vinh Phuc. The firm sent a specialized truck to Yen Lac District to buy 4.5 tonnes of fresh milk on Monday.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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